ORLANDO, Fla. -- Florida is changing its policy on youths who opt for a GED to finish high school in less than four years.
Until now, those looking for a shortcut could earn the same diploma as others. But Education Commissioner Eric Smith says that's not fair, or necessarily legal. Department of Education lawyers researching another issue could find no state law authorizing it.
So Smith has notified school districts that all who take the General Educational Development test must now receive a high school equivalency diploma, just like dropouts who later go through the GED process.
The GED exit option started in 1988. About 3,000 students in the most recent school year took the shortcut - roughly 2 percent of all graduates.